Government has deferred plans to facilitate Christian pilgrims to Israel and the Vatican City, according to the deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Paul Essien.
The first batch of pilgrims were supposed to embark on the religious trip over the weekend, but it was delayed due to administrative challenges.
“The new date for us to depart from Ghana is August 12, 2017,” Mr. Essien disclosed in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.
The move to send over 200 persons to the Holy cities has been described by majority of the public as a misplaced priority on the part of government.
A Religious Expert and Lecturer at the University of Ghana Dr. Ben Willie-Golo condemned the move as “reckless.”
Speaking on Morning Starr Wednesday June 21, 2017, he argued that government has no business in organizing trips for Christian pilgrims and it should be an individual choice not a State-sponsored decision.
“I think this is…just a kind of reckless talk. For me I heard it over the radio and I thought look, excuse me to use the word bunkum. It is a reckless talk. I mean it is unnecessary,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban then.
But, government said the decision was taken in consultation with the Christian Council of Ghana, a claim the latter vehemently rejected.
The Council’s General Secretary, Rev. Opuni Frimpong told Francis Abban on Morning Starr on Wednesday June 21, 2017 that “we have never made any commitment that we will participate in that. As at now we are not part of that.”